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Scientist, TV Host Sergei Kapitsa Dies

Sergei Kapitsa

Prominent Russian scientist and television host Sergei Kapitsa died Tuesday in Moscow. He was 84.

Son of world-renowned physicist and Nobel Prize winner Pyotr Kapitsa, Sergei Kapitsa was born in Cambridge, Britain, and moved with his family to the Soviet Union in 1935.

Sergei Kapitsa, a graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1949, is best known in Russia as the host of popular science television show "Ochevidnoye-Neveroyatnoye," which can be translated as "Obvious But Incredible."

For that show, which first aired in 1973, he was awarded UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science.

Kapitsa, who was editor-in-chief of the Russian edition of Scientific American magazine, also made numerous contributions to physics in supersonic aerodynamics, applied electrodynamics and accelerator physics.

Kapitsa served as vice president of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Russia, president of the Eurasian Physical Society, senior research associate at the Lebedev Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and professor at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

"He made science interesting for many millions of people. He combined the talents of both a scientist and a TV journalist," broadcaster Vladimir Pozner said, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Both President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed their condolences Tuesday.

Kapitsa's brother, Andrei, was a Russian geographer best known for his role in the discovery of Antarctica's massive underground Lake Vostok. He died last year in Moscow at the age of 80.

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